Monthly Archives: February 2017

Tasmania – Final Stop Hobart and MONA – chickens, challengidefinitions of art and finally proof that LV is more than just a handbag….just ask Yanoi Kusama.

Two days in Hobart where we indulged in seafood and lost 4 hours in MONA. This is my 3rd visit and it was once again right out there. The current 6 month temporary exhibit of the Origins of Art involves four seemingly small entrances into a black void which then all fan out into huge areas with different perspectives on where and why art exists. Loved it – it’s on until April so if you get a chance it’s worth it. I would do it again – as so much to learn with the really cool interactive iphone everyone gets.

Some samples below. I am still not sure if the lady on the chairs was for real or art – hard to say but I loved the overall effect either way. The dog photographer is in downtown Hobart – for all my dog loving friends – and yes they have chickens (or maybe that is a rooster?) – real not artistic ones – at MONA too.

MONA and Hobart Art and Chickens

I was excited that one of the magic doors took my through to a Kusama exhibit of dots – I am a big fan of hers and yes she did a collaboration with LV a few years ago as you can see. I will be aiming to see more of her work in Japan later this year – watch this space.

Final stop was the enchanting Retro Fudge Store in Hobart – below are the interiors. I would have shown you the fudge too but I ate it!

The Retro Fudge Shop in Hobart

Wineglass Bay and Friendly Beaches. Does Tasmania have the best beaches in Australia?

Well in my time in Australia I’ve seen a lot of fab beaches but I personally think it is hard to beat some of the ones I’ve seen in the last week in Tasmania. First we hiked up to see Wineglass Bay – well worth the many many stairs and then we stumbled onto the Friendly beaches as we were leaving Coles Bay -how beautiful are these – not just beach but waves and rocks too – and gain, no people and no children – yay! Definitely recommend the East Coast of Tasmania.

The walk up to see Wineglass Bay with views along the way and a very large boulder

Tasmania – Wallabies, Coles Bay and Food

Stayed at a fantastic location called Edge of the Bay in Coles Bay – pics below are of the view from my room and the beach right on our doorstep. Fantastic spot – and no people just a lot of wallabies.

Edge of the Bay is a beautifully located hotel on Coles Bay

Some very pretty appetizers

And the food continues to be delish too…..

Tasmania – Cradle Mountain.  I finally wore my hiking boots and visited Wombat Poos.

My second visit to Cradle Mountain Lodge – and they remembered! Not because I was partying all night last time I visited but more likely due to their well organised database. Anyway, it landed me a bottle of sparkling cuvée, some chocolates and cheese and biscuits. Goodness knows what they will do if I go back again – which I might do as they do the lodge thing really well.

Rain and shine as usual – walked in both. Loved the beautiful King Billy pines and magical forest they create and also we stomped through pouring rain in Cradle Mountain national Park including my “good idea” to climb up to Wombat Poos (or Pools – we were never quite certain as there was a lot of both). It was a long long long way up and all steps – next time I will just buy a postcard – less huff and puff required – but of course in retrospect the walk didn’t seem so hard.

Walking through the King Billy Pines

Cradle Mountain Park where the rivers are made of gold and it rains a lot – but still lovely. Marjory practices her wilderness embrace.

My favourites list from New Zealand 

So many fantastic experiences but in the end it is all the unexpected things that I loved the most. 

The city of Christchurch – managed a day there on the way home and it is full of vigour, determination, laughter and funky art – the people there are looking forward not backwards and I loved that. 

Scenery and sea close together – like the Pancake Rocks.

The food and wine – especially the glut of green lipped mussels that I imbibed (and that is the right word) -I just kept slurping them up with wine to wash them down of course. Roll on Bluff oyster season.

And, again unexpectedly, the interesting things you can do like jumping off a mountain and flying over Queenstown and here finally is the proof of that:)

Green lipped mussels, Pancake rocks, parasailing and funky Ronnie Van Hout art in Christchurch

Any complaints? Only very wiggly roads, weather even more changeable than Melbourne and the downside of the peace and quiet – intermittent wifi/roaming access (but I suppose that is the whole point?).

Final days in New Zealand – Arthur’s Pass, Castle Hill

Drove from Dunedin through Arthur’s Pass in the centre of the South Island to stay at another Wilderness Lodge.What a glorious part of the country.Braided rivers, more boulders at Castle Hill (I’m getting a bit of a thing about boulders), lovely flora and fauna – really hard to finally leave what must be one of the most wonderful landscapes I’ve ever visited. 

You Kiwis are right – you live in scenic paradise – and you keep that quiet so that it remains that way. Good on you – smart move:)

Arthur”S Pass Wilderness Lodge where I stayed for a couple of days including the braided river.

The Castle Hill Boulders – definitely a place to shoot a movie

Flora around Wilderness Lodge.

Dunedin – a touch of Scotland in New Zealand and we experience “Steampunk” in Oamuru

I quite liked Dunedin. It is very Scottish – buildings look similar and there are a lot of churches – in fact we stayed at a great hotel called Brothers which is opposite the cathedral pictured and used to be the home of the Catholic brothers. No ghosts seen but rumour has it…..

It is not a very busy place – uni students were only just starting to come in for the start of the year – and as you can see the station is impressive but not very busy. Nevertheless, I liked the movement towards more street art and it did mean that en-route to our last lodge in Arthur’s Pass we got to see two very cool places.

Downtown Dunedin

First stop an hour outside of Dunedin was the Moeraki Boulders – at first they look much smaller than you expect them to be but as I wandered down the beach on a glorious day I became more and more enamoured of them. So here they are.

The Moeraki Boulders including what’s inside if you crack one open.

And finally we stopped at what we thought was the quaint little town of Oamuru – it seems idyllic and quiet but then you find it is the home of STEAMPUNK and you realised that not all towns in New Zealand are what they appear. For the uninitiated Steampunk is …. well an art form, a movement, something to do with using industrial products to make other things – all very weird, wonderful and decidedly quirky. A few tasters below – but I suggest you visit if you ever find yourself in this part of NZ – it is quite an eye opener 

Steampunk centre in Oamuru – not what we were expecting in the apparently sleepy town of Oamuru.

Last NZ post coming soon and then it is off to Tasmania.

New Zealand, Queenstown – I never go jet boating without my Louis – naturally…..

Queenstown – my midlife crisis has been satisfied!
First piece of news is that after 12 years of no driving at all and 21 years of no driving on the left hand side of the road – I actually drove the rental car – (round some very wiggly NZ roads I might add). So it is true – you don’t forget how to do it – but personally I still much prefer to be driven (chauffeurs always welcome) so I can look out of the window. Big thanks to Marjory for sitting next to me and not gripping her chair too often!
But that’s not all – in Queenstown I bought a fab piece of art by a cool local artist – Louise McCrae – who paints abstracts on a large piece of wood, then chops it all up in different widths and sizes and then puts it all back together again in a different form – so real creation, destruction and reconstruction – pretty cool.

Then I went jet-boating – actually second time for me as Nigel and Rae-Ann took me out a few years ago but this time we did some spins too.

I never go jet boating without my LV

Queenstown thrills and food. See that view – I ran off the mountain just above there…..


And for the finale – I ran off the top of the mountain in Queenstown – luckily while attached at a pilot and a parasail. Pretty cool after you actually leave land. Would do it again. Proof to be provided later as pics are all on USB stick. Honest!

Hokitika – can you say it properly?

Second time visit to Hokitika ( we keep trying to pronounce the right way to say this word but even the New Zealander’s are not consistent. “Hoe Ke ticker” is my best phonetic attempt but happy to be corrected again!

View from my bedroom in Hokitika at Rimu Lodge

I am clearly enjoying NZ cuisine too much – here is a before an after of a chair I sat in!

I only sat on it for a minute…..